Today, I found myself thinking about the real-world consequences of faith. Specifically, as we charge full speed ahead towards the Tribulation, does one's "faith" about certain things (no, not just one's faith in Him, which earns eternal life and salvation) produce a shield of protection around their life?
By now, you've all read my thoughts on this during the last Rapture series. For instance, I think that what we believe about the Rapture will determine a lot involving our future destiny (again, not our salvation, but perhaps whether or not we "escape" as well as when if you hold to a multiple Rapture scenario).
We may soon start to see the first concrete examples of how faith meets fear on a mass scale before everyone's eyes regarding this "Swine Flu" health crisis, and we might also begin to see plain as day results from it.
If someone stands on the promises of our Father, and everyone else around them is getting sick and dying, but the sickness and death never touches them, will that be evidence? Yes, but the world will still say something like "they were just lucky..."
Yep, I've been "lucky" over and over and over and over again in my short life! Here's a newsflash for the world: that kind of "luck" doesn't exist in the Christian life. In fact, there's no such thing as "luck" to a believer.
Las Vegas was built as a monument, a standing proof of how the world's "luck" is foolishness for men. Las Vegas was built as a testament to people losing their shirts in the pursuit of "luck." We have promises that in the coming days will prove their superiority to gold, silver, and everything else men desire in this world.
What would a man give in exchange for his life? The woman with the issue of blood knew that if she could just touch the edge of our Lord's cloak, she would be healed. The centurion knew for a fact that if the Lord gave him His word, that his servant would be healed, it would be done.
The Lord marveled at such faith saying He had not seen that kind of faith in all Israel. That's quite a statement isn't it? A centurion - - not some religious person, not a rabbi, not a priest or a pastor - - was found with the most faith in all of Israel!
Take a look at this:
Psalm 91:1-11 - - "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." (emphasis mine)
It has just now dawned on me why the Lord has been on this topic of faith with me during that entire Rapture series. You have read it here for months now - - the importance of faith and belief. Before us today, we have a clear example of how what you believe may determine whether you (and your family) live or die in the weeks ahead.
Look, I realize we shouldn't try to speak for God or play the role of His interpreter by explaining a person's lot in life as being the direct result of "God's favor" or "God's displeasure" with them. I would never presume to be so arrogant to think that I know the how and why He does what He does, and why some people have it tougher than others. At the same time, I don't think that's what today's discussion is all about. It's kinda similar I guess, but only if you read this casually without taking the time to really sit down and let it all sink in with thoughtful and prayerful consideration to follow.
Here me out on this for a moment. If this "Angel of Death" shows up at your doorstep, and you "kind of" or "maybe" believe the promises of our Lord, will that be enough to keep the Angel outside your doors? Let this sink in really, really deep:
Psalm 91:10 - - "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling"
Is there anything confusing about that statement? No, it's plain and straightforward, and it is a fact. While the masses panic and rush to order their useless pharmaceuticals, you have a promise from the God, who caused the Angel of Death to passover our forefathers in Egypt. Do you remember reading here that everything done for them was also done for us "in Christ" or no? We are one. Everyone who has ever died "in Christ" (that is to say, everyone who has ever died "in faith"), they are one with us who are in Jesus Christ today.
I agree with Brother D from Christian Apostasy that the may very well orchestrate events in such a way that our faces are pressed up against a pane of razor thin glass that separates us from the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Daniel's 70th Week/Tribulation). We will have to endure a period of "refinement" and "testing" perhaps as a means of exercising our faith in more than mere words.
Does that make sense in the context of what we know about the coming of the Son of Man? We're told it will be just as in the days of Noah and Lot, right? The same day that Lot walked out of Sodom - - fire and brimstone fell.
In the same way, people today do not believe there is a coming escape from all that is coming upon the Earth (even though it is clearly stated in the Holy Bible). They refuse to believe it, to their own loss. Also, people do not believe the Lord's promises regarding things like this:
Psalm 91:10 - - "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
What good is our faith in Him if we don't truly trust what He tells us? We say we believe, but do we really? Do our actions speak louder than our words?
James 2:20 - - "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Faith without works is dead. A life without faith, and we'll be dead!
Our faith must be real. We must pray and really believe that what we pray for will come to pass. I am amazed that the Lord has brought this to the forefront of my mind over just the past couple of weeks. Go back and re-read the columns here from the past week or two. The theme is without a doubt - - belief, faith, hope, and prayer.
We may be dealing with more media hype and a government psy-op here, or we may soon see hundreds of millions of people really die. Either way, it doesn't really matter. We who stand day-in-and-day-out looking for the return of our Lord are striving to be found "in Him," pleasing Him in every way, every day. We cannot please our God without faith:
Hebrews 11:6 - - "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
It's time to take a serious look at what you believe and why you believe it. "Why?" is the most important question in the languages of the world. Why do you believe?
Whatever happens in the days ahead, focus yourself on the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe, have faith, pray, consume the Word of God found in your Bible. Remember that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
The consequences for faithlessness in the days ahead could be a matter of life and death. Take hold of the promises of our Father in Heaven, wrap your arms around them, then chain yourselves to them, and never let them go because it's likely that the coming weeks will be our final exam.
Will you past the test of faith in Him and His promises?
What We're Praying/Talking About
Our faith in action, or our small contribution in trying to apply what we're taught in Hebrews 5-6 and James 2:17-26 for the benefit of our dear brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ...
Look Up Fellowship Media [LUFM]
Fair Use Statement
This is a personal blog, but I've been told that I need to include a formal statement of this nature. So, here goes. This website may contain copyrighted material, the use of which may not have been authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of cultural, economic, environmental, human rights, political, religious, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml”. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," then you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.